Wastewater Treatment/Reuse

Wastewater Treatment

Six years after Hurricane Ivan’s devastating impact on Northwest Florida and the Emerald Coast Utilities Authority’s (ECUA) Main Street Wastewater Treatment Plant, the new Central Water Reclamation Facility (CWRF) began to accept wastewater flows, and began operation on Monday, August 30, 2010.

The new, $316-million dollar, state-of-the-art facility, is the largest public works project in the history of Escambia County.  The new plant sits on 2,200 acres of land on Old Chemstrand Road near Cantonment.  It has been designated as an AWT (advanced wastewater treatment) facility, meaning it will produce effluent of a very high quality, which will be disinfected to the level required for unrestricted exposure to the public. One hundred percent of the reclaimed water from the plant will be reused, eliminating any potential surface water discharge. Unique safety design features were included in the plant as the CWRF is constructed to withstand Category Five hurricane force winds of up to 190mph, and the site is a minimum of 50 feet above sea level, removing it from any potential flood issues.

The CWRF was funded in large part through grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and other federal sources, the State of Florida, Escambia County and the City of Pensacola.   Several local firms, employing hundreds of Northwest Florida employees, participated in the design and construction of the facility, three major lift stations and 25 miles of pipeline.

Since 1994, the ECUA’s Pensacola Beach and Bayou Marcus wastewater treatment plants have won, between them, 21 Gold or Silver Awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.

The Pensacola Beach Plant, rebuilt since being damaged by Hurricane Ivan, stands ready to serve the beach community as new construction and rebuilding progresses.



Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility

The ECUA Bayou Marcus Water Reclamation Facility utilizes a unique means of disposal of its reclaimed water via discharge to the Bayou Marcus Wetlands.  This discharge is helping restore approximately 1,000 acres of wetlands that were drained by the previous owners.  The continued application of the reclaimed water, averaging approximately, 6.2 million gallons per day, keeps the large and diverse bird and wildlife population on and around the site. 


Water Reuse on Pensacola Beach

The ECUA recently upgraded its Pensacola Beach Wastewater Treatment Plant to allow the reclaimed water from the facility to be made available to the Santa Rosa Island Authority for irrigation of the rights-of-way and medians along Via de Luna Drive. This move will reduce the draw on the community’s potable water source and eliminate some of the effluent discharge into local surface waters. In time, reclaimed water from the plant may potentially be available for residential irrigation purposes.